It is now nearly six weeks since the death at 51 of my sister Jill Saward, who suffered a brain
haemorrhage in the first week of the new year. Jill was an extraordinary person, who was the victim of an awful rape, back in the 1980s and made it her life’s mission to change attitudes towards rape, to campaign for better treatment for rape victims and to try to ensure that people who are victims of sex crimes receive proper justice. My sister’s work changed the the law in Britain and inspired tens of thousands of people to work towards stopping rape happening. The work is far from finished and even today only a small percentage of rape victims go to the police. They are frightened and ashamed. As a family, we have decided that we will do whatever we can to continue Jill’s work and to try to educate people about rape and to help those who are victims of it. It is not easy to do, advocacy and support staff cost huge amounts of money. However, education can make a big difference and so we aim to find ways to educate people to try to reduce rape. If we can do that and build up sufficient funding, we can then help to look after the victims. The goal is to create sustainable funding by generating revenue from educational publications. We hope some good ideas about how to achieve this goal and we want help from the motor racing community, where there is plenty fo money flowing around. Sacrifice a set of tyres or some brake discs and you can make a difference in the real world.
I am not a religious man, but I come from a family that is and I respect the view of others. At my sister’s funeral my friend the Reverend Gary Piper, one of the greatest human being I have ever met, who knew us all from a very young age, said the following about her: “She was human. I don’t want you to think of her as a plaster saint. To achieve some of her targets she needed to be stubborn, this was a quality which could be observed in her from quite a young age. Strong-minded people are not always the easiest to deal with.”
We want her work to continue and we are raising money to create a charitable trust of some sort to honour her memory and to continue her work to change attitudes. I have been in the F1 world for nearly three decades, and in my experience the F1 community is one in which everyone is treated equally, if they prove they have the ability to do the job properly. It is an open-minded world and thus I hope that many of you will donate to this cause. Thus far, 482 of you, have been very generous, but There are tens of thousands of readers – including many racing millionaires. The biggest donation thus far has been £1,000. A lot of you could do better than that… if you wanted to.
Want to! It is an amazing cause.
Don’t just think about it, do it. All you need to do is click here.